Incoming Kansas Jayhawks men’s basketball power forward earns All-America distinction

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Future Kansas Jayhawks power forward Sydney Curry has been chosen to the NJCAA Division I All-America third team, it was announced Wednesday.

The 2020-21 All-America picks were made by the NJCAA Division I men’s basketball committee.

Curry, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound sophomore at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois, averaged 12.9 points and 8.2 rebounds a game this past season for 18-5 Logan. He hit 69.4% of his shots, but just 45.5% of his free throws.

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Curry chose KU over Texas A&M, Maryland, Mississippi, Seton Hall and others. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at KU starting with the upcoming 2021-22 season.

“Sydney is going to bring size, strength and athleticism to our frontcourt, giving us another rim protector,” KU coach Bill Self said after receiving Curry’s signed letter-of-intent on April 14. “He’s a big man that can play above the rim and has shown the ability to have a big presence inside. Sydney has been developed very well while at Logan and is making a big impact as they continue to play in the upcoming juco national tournament.”

Logan lost to Ranger College, 87-75, in a first-round game at the national junior college tournament on April 21 in Hutchinson, Kansas. Curry scored 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds while playing 24 minutes.

Curry initially committed to Miami (Ohio) his senior year at Northrop High School in Fort Wayne, but instead headed to junior college. Curry also was a member of the Mac Irvin Fire AAU Team, based in Chicago.

“It was just Kansas. Watching Coach Self and KU basketball all my life, watching Kansas growing up, I really wanted to go there,” Curry told The Star after committing to KU on Nov. 26, 2020. He said at the time he’s been compared to former KU big man Udoka Azubuike.

“A shorter Azubuike. I’m athletic enough to have a 48 (inch) vertical. My athleticism can take over,” Curry stated.

KU offers Ja’Kobe Walter

Ja’Kobe Walter, a 6-5 sophomore shooting guard from McKinney (Texas) High School, has been offered a scholarship by KU, he reported Wednesday on Twitter. He is considering KU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Memphis, Alabama and others.

Recruiting analyst Justin Young of hoopseen.com watched Walter play at a recent AAU tournament in Duncanville, Texas.

“When the locals tell you emphatically that a player is as good as advertised, you better listen. Walter lived up to the conversations and was consistently productive for (AAU team) Trae Young Elite,” Young wrote.

“Walter has terrific handles for a big guard and sliced through the defense with precision. He showed that he can shoot from deep and also dribbled into the mid-range and knocked down shots. Walter is big and strong enough to be one of the best rebounding guards in his positional group for the Class of 2023, too. He’s strong when he goes for the ball and doesn’t lose matchups of toughness. Walter comes off of ball screens really well and finds spots in the game to make his impact. He’s the kind of player that you want to have on the floor whenever you need a clutch play. There is a big-game ability to him that pulls you in,” Young added.

Washington now ranked No. 16 by 247sports.com

TyTy Washington, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior point guard from Compass Prep School in Chandler, Arizona, who will announce his future plans on May 15, is said to be considering the NBA G League option along with college finalists KU, Kentucky, Arizona, Baylor, LSU and Oregon.

“TyTy Washington was the recipient of a major bump in the final 2021 rankings after a stellar high school season,” Dushawn London of 247sports.com wrote this week after it was announced Washington had moved from a national ranking of 26 to 16 by 247sports.com. He’s ranked No. 12 by ESPN.com and No. 32 by Rivals.com.

“Washington was once a Creighton commit and will now be making his college decision on the 15th of May. Washington has only received one Crystal Ball pick (for Arizona). Washington is a dynamic scorer who can score in a variety of ways and will be a major impact from day one for whichever program he decides to go to. Assuming he goes to college, Kansas and Kentucky are right there in the thick of things with the (Arizona) Wildcats,” London added.